Determining Spousal Maintenance in a Divorce
During divorce proceedings, spousal maintenance collections are determined under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Although they are determined at the very end of the proceedings, they are a critical component if a spouse also holds legal or physical child custody. Under state law, spousal maintenance is calculated based upon the needs of a child, the ability of the spouse to pay it, the length of the marriage, previous lifestyle and recurring or anticipated health needs of the spouse or child.
Considering that determination of spousal maintenance can be a complex and lengthy legal matter, hiring a skilled family law and a divorce attorney can be the best option to ensure an appropriate spousal maintenance award is granted.
Determining Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance calculations are part of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) and may include assessments for child support if custody is provided to a parent as part of the parenting plan or divorce agreement. The statutory formula is applied if the combined gross income of the couple amounted to $500,000. Although courts are not required to follow the statutory formula if the gross income is below the mentioned amount, a judge will have to provide specific reasons for deviation from the statutory guidelines and the basis for calculations.
Additionally, a second calculation may be undertaken to ensure the total amount of spousal maintenance doesn’t exceed 40 percent of the combined gross income of the couple. The maintenance amount can be reduced if the amount exceeds this threshold.
Net Income Determinants
The gross income may include investment returns, salaries and any perpetual payments the couple had during the time of marriage. However, some expense – such as federal and state tax dues, special security payments, insurance premiums, medical expenses, foster care support, business debt repayments and prior support obligations are deducted as an expense to reach a net income amount.
The court also undertakes a needs assessment and the ability of a spouse to earn any future income. Usually, permanent maintenance is awarded only if a spouse is financially not independent and will need support due to lack of job or skills.
Types of Alternate Payments
If there is a reasonable doubt a spouse will fail to honor their commitments or the maintenance amount, a life insurance policy, annuities, or disability insurance can be sought in advance as part of the divorce agreement. Insurance coverage can help overcome medical and disability emergencies, while annuities will provide for monthly spousal payments on time.
If you wish to learn more about spouse maintenance calculation and how it’s determined during a divorce and other family law issues, or want to schedule a free consultation, contact Law Office of Fedor Kozlov at 847-380-3771 to speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney.